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Victory for HS2 campaign in boost for Chesterfield

Chesterfield has received a major boost with the confirmation that the High Speed rail service will now definitely serve the Town.

The original plans for HS2 passed through Chesterfield to the East, but lobbying from Town MP Toby Perkins, the local Labour Council and the business community has borne fruit in spectacular style.

The Government announced that they have opted for a proposal which stops at Chesterfield and Sheffield City Centre and requires electrification of the line up to Chesterfield and up to Sheffield to Leeds reducing train journey times North to Leeds as well as south to London.

HS2 is the planned high speed railway that will link London to the Midlands and North, and is due to be completed by around 2033. The East midlands is set to benefit hugely from the HS2 with an increase of between 2.2% and 4.3% in output by 2037, due to the plans.

There was further welcome news as confirmation was also received that HS2 will create jobs at a new Staveley maintenance depot, offering the prospect of high skilled engineering jobs and apprenticeships for local young people long into the future.

Although HS2 is not due to be completed for another 15-20 years, it is a valuable updating of Britain’s Victorian Train infrastructure, reucing journey times between major towns and cities and  freeing up space for passengers travelling on existing rail networks. The building of HS2 will also create thousands of local jobs.

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins said: “ There have been legitimate criticisms about the process that has been followed, but we have managed to persuade HS2 to continue their investment in the Staveley depot, undo their damaging proposal that would have undermined the Chesterfield Canal and now to introduce the Chesterfield stop that will open up shorter journey times (of around 1 hour 15 minutes to London) to travellers across Chesterfield and the North East Midlands.”

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Is your business a National Champion? – Chesterfield MP searching for Responsible Business Champions for national business awards

Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield, is seeking nominations from local businesses who believe the work they put into the local community means they should be considered a Constituency Responsible Business Champion.

Toby said, “Chesterfield is filled with businesses that not only provide jobs and economic growth for the town, but also invest in our communities and try to improve the area in terms of health, training, environment and equality & diversity. The Constituency Responsible Champion awards will be decided by a Parliamentary Judging Panel. All MPs can nominate businesses from their constituency and I would like any businesses in Chesterfield who feel they could be the National Champion to write to me and tell me why they deserve my nomination.”

The National Champion judging panel are looking for companies which are:

  • Supporting the local community
  • Investing in health workplaces
  • Offering apprenticeships and training to all
  • Promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Toby said, “I know that businesses in Chesterfield are real community champions who can compete with companies across the UK. The businesses I have visited are community-minded and believe in investing in the area and the local people. These awards could give Chesterfield businesses a chance to show their pedigree to the nation”

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Sutherland kitchen landscape

Toby Perkins MP calls on Government to give our Armed Forces a ‘fair deal’

To mark Armed Forces Day on 24th June, Toby Perkins, Member of Parliament for Chesterfield, has called on the Government to give our Armed Forces a better deal.

Toby, who is Chair of the Labour Friends of the Forces, said “I am delighted to show my support for our Forces, serving personnel, Veterans and their families, on Armed Forces Day. It’s wonderful that we have a day that recognises the hard work and bravery of the forces community but of course they deserve our support all year round.

Government are rightly quick to praise our Armed Forces, but too often the warm words aren’t backed up by actions. Service personnel have seen reductions in pay and conditions, redundancies, more and more deployments and inadequate support for them and their families during and after they serve.

“I’ll be attending The Chesterfield Cadets Armed Forces Day at Wallis Barracks on Boythorpe Road and I look forward to celebrating the day with the whole community”.

Toby helping out in the galley on HMS Collingwood as part of the Parliamentary Armed Forces Scheme

Toby helping out in the galley on HMS Sutherland as part of the Parliamentary Armed Forces Scheme

The Chesterfield Cadets Armed Forces Day will celebrate our Armed Forces and help raise funds and awareness for the Sea and other Cadet units. Chesterfield Sea Cadets is one of the oldest units in

the UK. A number of Armed Forces and community information stalls will be onsite, together with children’s rides, BBQ, Charity Stalls, food and tea stalls, with a flyover from a Battle of Britain aircraft.

Toby added, “Our servicemen and women stand up for us every day, it’s especially important that we stand up for them on Armed Forces Day. I would encourage my constituents to come along to Wallis Barracks on Sunday and show their appreciation for all our Armed Forces personnel and veterans.”

The Wallis Barracks are open from 10am – 4pm on Sunday and will include a march through town from 10.15- 11am. Two weeks later, the Staveley Armed Forces Day will take place at Poolsbrook Country Park on 7th and 8th July.

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Toby with Douglas Fogg, Kevin Fogg and Madeline Makarem

Toby Perkins urges action to save vital ‘Meals On Wheels’ service

Toby Perkins, Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate, has called on the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) and Social Services to do all they can to ensure the RVS ‘Meals On Wheels’ service continues to provide meals to over a hundred elderly and vulnerable people in Derbyshire.

The RVS has decided that the service is no longer financially viable and will be closing on the 16th of June, leaving service users and their families concerned about how they will manage. Toby has met with representatives from the RVS and contacted senior managers, but the service is still scheduled for closure and redundancy notices issued to staff.

Toby visited one service user, Mr Douglas Fogg, a celebrated war hero who was recently awarded a medal by the Russian Federation for his role protecting Arctic convoys during the Second World War (http://www.derbyshiretimes.co.uk/news/chesterfield-s-arctic-heroes-awarded-russian-medal-1-7998551) to discuss how important the service is to him.

Toby said, “Like many of the people who use this service, Douglas is keen to remain in his own home and maintain as much independence as possible. The meals he receives enable him to do this. If the RVS cannot run the service, I urge them to work with the County Council’s Adult Social Care team to ensure that a new provider is found before.”

Toby with Douglas Fogg, Kevin Fogg and Madeline Makarem

Toby with Douglas Fogg, Kevin Fogg and Madeline Makarem

“Douglas has strong family support, but many other service users do not. This service is helping people to remain in the community, rather than being forced into residential care which would result in a far greater cost to the public purse. It is in the interests of everyone that this service is maintained.”

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Labour’s Toby Perkins slams Tory fox hunting plan

Tory plans to bring back fox hunting have been slammed as ‘a warped priority’ by Labour’s Toby Perkins, after it was revealed that a Tory Government would seek to reverse the fox hunting ban.

The Labour Party banned cruel blood sports in 1999 and implemented the Hunting Act in 2004. However, Theresa May would seek to reverse the ban on fox hunting by holding a free vote on repealing the Act.

Toby Perkins,  Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Chesterfield, said:

“It shows a warped sense of priorities with the issues that face Britain right now, for Theresa May to pursue a return of fox hunting as a priority.

“Polls make it clear that the British public do not want to see a return to hunting with hounds. Voters in Chesterfield want their elected politicians to concentrate on important issues like healthcare, public safety and jobs – not on bringing back cruel blood sports.

“It just shows how dangerous a Tory Government with a landslide majority would be, overlooking public opinion to pursue their own elitist agenda, I’m asking everyone in Chesterfield to sign Labour’s petition against bringing back fox hunting and send a clear message to the Tories.

I am also confirming that if I am re-elected to represent Chesterfield that I will vote against removing the ban on fox hunting”

Opponents of the fox hunting ban can ‘Like’ Toby’s short video on the ban here: http://bit.ly/2q8rN5K

and sign Labour’s petition here:  http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/content/keep-the-ban-on-fox-hunting

Ends

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Chesterfield MP would like to hear from constituents who may be affected by potential changes to the prescribing of gluten-free products

Chesterfield MP would like to hear from constituents who may be affected by potential changes to the prescribing of gluten-free products

North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (NDCCG) are currently undertaking a review of all services they commission, which could see them stop providing gluten free foods on prescription.

Toby said, “Underfunding of the NHS by the Government is forcing Clinical Commissioning Groups to make some unacceptable and agonising choices about what treatments they can fund or items they can offer on prescription. NDCCG has identified gluten-free prescribing as potentially not being value for money due to insufficient health benefits it provides and this could reduce what the NHS are willing to provide.”

“I am conscious that for many constituents with coeliac disease these prescriptions are crucial and I am keen that their needs should be considered.”

NDCCG are asking for views on the following options for those with a clinical diagnosis of coeliac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis:

Option 1 – Stop providing gluten free foods on prescription altogether

Option 2 – Change the gluten free allowance to eight units per month for everyone eligible for gluten-free food on prescription and have much more limited products available on prescription (e.g. only loaves of bread, pasta and flour allowed on NHS Prescriptions) other products (e.g. breakfast cereals, pizza bases, bread rolls, crackers) would no longer be allowed.

Option 3 – Continue to follow the Coeliac Society’s recommendations for number of units (10 to 18 units depending on the age and sex of the patient) but have limited products available (e.g. only loaves of bread, pasta and flour allowed on NHS prescriptions) other products (e.g. breakfast cereals, pizza bases, bread rolls, crackers) would no longer be allowed, However, the total gluten free allowance would remain the same as it is currently

NDCCG’s consultation will run from 27th February 2017 until Saturday 27th May 2017. The online survey can be completed at: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GlutenDerbys.

Further information about drop-in sessions at local surgeries and focus groups can be found on www.northderbyshireccg.nhs.uk

Toby said, “I am deeply concerned by the pressures facing the NHS and the impact that Government cuts will have on its sustainability. Alongside completing the survey, I hope that any constituents receiving gluten-free products will get in touch to let me know how these change may impact them”

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Toby with centre manager, Dave Radford, outgoing chair, Sheelagh Hanson, and newly-elected chair, Fee Unwin

Toby Perkins MP congratulates Chesterfield & North Derbyshire Volunteer Centre on another successful year

Local MP Toby Perkins joined staff, volunteers and stakeholders at the Chesterfield & North East Derbyshire Volunteer’s annual general meeting (AGM), which marked another successful year for the organisation.

Toby said, “Volunteer organisations across the country have struggled over the last few years but The Volunteer Centre remains resilient during these tough times. Much of this is due to the excellent fundraising skills of the centre manager, Dave Radford, and because of the hard work of the staff, volunteers and board, who really go above and beyond for the people they are supporting.”

The Volunteer Centre, which is based on Knifesmithgate in Chesterfield town centre, has over 250 volunteer-supporting organisations registered with them and provides a number of services across the Borough and North East Derbyshire. Toby presented a special recognition ward to volunteer, Brian Veasey, and to the Chair, Sheelagh Hanson, who is standing down after 4 years in the role.

Toby made special mention of the Centre’s ‘Elderfriends’ befriending service, which is aimed at lonely and socially isolated people who are over 50 years old and live in Chesterfield and NE Derbyshire.

Toby with centre manager, Dave Radford, outgoing chair, Sheelagh Hanson, and newly-elected chair, Fee Unwin

Toby with centre manager, Dave Radford, outgoing chair, Sheelagh Hanson, and newly-elected chair, Fee Unwin

Toby said, “With the huge pressures on social care and cuts to council budgets, there are many older people who are not receiving the support they need and are becoming increasingly isolated and cut off from the community. The Elderfriends service is a vital lifeline for many vulnerable and lonely people in Chesterfield. They currently have over 400 people waiting for befrienders and I would urge more people to volunteer with the service”.

Toby is supporting the new Parliamentary Commission on Loneliness, which was originally conceived by Jo Cox, the MP for Batley & Spen who was murdered last year.

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Toby with CSC Unite rep, Colin Walker

Chesterfield MP calls for parliamentary debate on CSC job losses

Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), which has an office on Old Road in Brampton, announced plans to cut another 1,100 jobs ahead of a potential merger with a division of U.S. Computer giant, Hewlett Packard. Following a meeting with Union reps, Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield, has called for a debate in Parliament to discuss the job losses and potential effect on government contracts delivered by CSC.

Toby said, “Over the last 4 months, CSC has announced plans to cut over 1500 jobs, which is a third of their workforce. When this number of jobs are cut in the steel industry, it becomes front page news and questions are raised at PMQs, and it should be no different for the IT industry. CSC deliver services for the NHS,  The Passport Office, The Metropolitan Police, and many other arms of Government and it is only right that MPs get to scrutinise the potential effect on public services”

Toby has now applied for an Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons and is arranging a meeting with union representatives and the MPs from all the areas where CSC have sites. Unite the

Toby with CSC Unite rep, Colin Walker

Toby with CSC Unite rep, Colin Walker

Union have criticised CSC management for the lack of transparency in the decision-making process and accused the company of seeing workers as “collateral damage” in the pursuit of a merger deal.

Toby added, “I will be doing what I can to keep job losses in Chesterfield to an absolute minimum and to ensure that any losses do not impact on public services or compromise personal data”

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Welcome

I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries in Chesterfield and Staveley so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

Contact Toby

Tel: 01246 386286
Email: toby.perkins.mp@parliament.uk
Post: 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF

Surgeries

I hold regular surgeries for my constituents.
Please call 01246 386286 or email toby.perkins.mp@parliament.uk to make a booking.

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